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Starting Point

News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.

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Us 33, America 28, Romney 13, Obama 10, New York 8, U.s. 7, Dick Durbin 6, Washington 6, United States 6, Soledad 6, Fema 5, Ralph Macchio 5, Willow 5, Massachusetts 5, China 5, Margaret Hoover 4, Zimmerman 4, Smith 4, Ford 4, Purina 4,
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  CNN    Starting Point    News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien  
   looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.  

    July 17, 2012
    7:00 - 9:00am EDT  

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first and foremost is the safety of the traveling public. there's nothing more important than the safety of the passenger and crews. gate gourmet says it's fully cooperating with the fbi and local authorities in the netherlands and conducting its own full scale investigation and the company says it does provide food to other airlines but have received no reports or complaints. soledad? >> sandra endo, thanks so much. we appreciate it. let's get right to the rest of the top stories, zoraida has a look at that. >> rush hour traffic as usual at the ambassador bridge, a bomb threat shut down the busy span for five hours last night. it was reopened after security sweeps failed to turn up any explosives. a bomb threat last week forgsed the shutdown of a nearby tunnel that also connects detroit and windsor. in a desperate search continues in iowa for a pair of young cousins, 8-year-old elizabeth collins and lyric cook were last seen by their grandmother before they went on
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a bicycle ride. crews have started draining a nearby lake for a sign of girls. lyric's mother telling anderson cooper both were always a joy to be around. >> they smile a lot. they are pretty persistent in the things they want. they are great. they are really great. you know what i mean? >> yes, they are. >> we look forward to what they had to offer in their future and the life that god had for them. >> we will have a live report on the search from iowa at the bottom of the hour. we're also going to hear more from the family there. new reaction from both sides two a stunning twist in the trayvon martin trial. a female witness in this case only identified as witness number fine, is accusing zimmerman of molesting her when they were both children. the accusations released in an audio stap from the state's attorney office. >> it started when i was six. he's -- he's about almost two
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years older than i am. he would reach under the blankets and try to do things and i would try to push him off but he was bigger and stronger and older. >> she also said zimmerman and his family flat out said they didn't like black people unless they acted like white people. zimmerman's attorney mark o'mara has identified the woman as zimmerman's cousin and tells cnn the allegations would not be admissible in court but will complicate things for the defense. three more men are now coming forward telling police they were abused by jerry sandusky in the 1970s or 1980s. they are the first people to accuse him of abuse before the 1990s and it could mean the 68-year-old coach began preying on children in his early 20s. there's no mention of victims before the 1990s in the report. former fbi director louis freeh did. it's one of first signs that penn state may be moving past
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joe paterno after the freeh report, according to state college.com the university is changing the name of a student camp ground outside beaver stadium from paternoville to nittaniville as in the team's nickname, the nittany lions. it was a heart stopping save by an offduty new york city bus driver. cell phone video. take a look at this, shows a 7-year-old girl jumping up and down on an air conditioning on the third floor apartment wind dough. when steve saint bernard sprang into action. >> when i got there she was still sanding there and i just like positioned myself hopefully i would catch her. >> oh, he did. bernard suffered a muscle tear in his arm but says he will be okay. the nypd says the parents will not be charged with the crime. as far as being called a hero, steve says, that's a sandwich,
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back to you, soledad. >> oh, my goodness, what a catch, the moment you needed to do it. >> can you imagine her mother? >> no. no, i cannot. >> who was watching the child on the air conditioning unit on first place. all right, appreciate it. mitt romney is on the offense trying to paint president obama as a pay for play president. take a listen. >> there's no question, but when billions of upon billions of dollars are given by the obama administration to the businesses of campaign contributors, that's a real problem. particularly at a time when the middle class is really suffering in this country. >> and all day yesterday including here on our show, the am he issage from the romney camp they don't want to talk taxes or bain capital. take a listen. >> let's move on and talk about the cronyism of the white house. >> he's giving favors to his friends. look at solyndra, what happened there. it's a shame. because our tax dollars were
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used to go to companies often donors of the president's. >> senator ron johnson is a republican from wisconsin, a member of the budget appropriations committee and also a supporter of mitt romney. thanks for talking with us. >> good morning, soledad. >> good morning, there's clearly an effort to move away from conversations about bain and taxes and start talking about crony capitalism. what exactly is that? >> well crony capitalism is taking taxpayer money and funneling that to the people that have supported you in the campaign and that's exactly what president obama and his administration has done. look at solyndra over a half billion dollars invested in a company that's now bankrupt. it was supported by people who supported president obama. that's a dlasic example. >> inserting solyndra back into the conversation. back in may of 2012, here's what mitt romney said about solyndra. listen. >> an independent inspector general looked at this
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investment and concluded that the administration had steered money to friends and family to campaign contributors. >> so that statement we now know is not accurate, fact check.org said this about that, so far there's nothing except a year old statement that the inspector general was looking into it. the ad suggests cases have already been discovered. and that's not true. the "washington post" which did a similar analysis, said records do not establish that anyone pressured the energy department to approve the solyndra loan to benefit political contractors. seems that is not correct about solyndra. >> solyndra, doesn't make the investment a good investment, still a half billion dollars of taxpayer money squandered. there's $35 billion of these energy loans that have been guaranteed to different companies, 16 billion of it went into one program where you've only created 2300 jobs, which if
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those loans go bad like solyndra's went bad, that would be a cost over $16 million per job. that's really the main problem here, that president obama simply doesn't understand that it's the free enterprise systems, the private sector, productive sector, not the government sector that creates long sustainable jobs. all of his efforts are towards growing government. take a look at the soviet union, venezuela's economic basket case, is anyone moving to the island paradise of cuba? >> you're sure now not suggesting that the idea and concept between solyndra and other green energies like solyndra is comparable to the soviet union in cuba, right? >> no, i am suggesting that. when you take taxpayer money and you invest that into businesses, that's the taxpayer money put at risk. let's face it, the lesson on the soviet union, governments are
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poor allocators of capital. it's an economic model that doesn't work. >> didn't it work in massachusetts? isn't that exactly what governor romney did in massachusetts in green energy when he was the governor of massachusetts? >> listen, the path we need to take this country on is with free enterprise system, the private sector that creates long term self-sustaining jobs and that's exactly what governor romney would do as president romney. >> and -- >> we have got to take a look at the fact that we are bankrupting this country. president obama in his four years have added $5.3 trillion to our nation's debt and backs of our children and grandchildren. we've been spending it a week talking about bain and tax returns. what the american people, when i travel around wisconsin, nobody is asking questions about bain or governor romney's tax returns. people aren't questioning his integrity but questioning this president's policies that are crushing businesses all the regulations and threatened new taxes. that's what people are concerned
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about. that's what this campaign has to be about. and that's really -- i didn't come to washington to play games and that's all we're doing in the senate is playing games. we need to start solving and saving social security and medicare. we need to start figuring how do we put our country on a path towards financial solvency rather than do small little political tactics and games that president obama's campaign is engaging in. >> there are plenty of people that would agree with you it seems like on both sides of the aisle people are playing games sometimes in congress. you don't think the american people care about bain and don't care about taxes? >> part of the reason i believe personally that we have seen so much of mitt romney who has come out and been on virtually every show and talking about taxes and tax returns is because he feels he has to address the issue. am i wrong about that? >> soledad, i never hear it. when i travel around america, nobody talks about those issues, they are talking about what can we do to get unemployment below
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the 8% that this administration when it spent $800 billion in stimulus said unemployment would never go above 8%. it's been above 8% for 41 weeks. according to their estimates it should be 5.6%. people are concerned about their job and how are they going -- when their children graduate from college, how do they get a job? half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, that's a real problem and directly related to this president's policies that have incurred more debt that have burdened our businesses with regulation and this president doesn't understand that. take a look at the most recent comments about, if you build a business, you didn't build the business, somebody else did. dismissive of the hard work of small to medium size business owners. he doesn't have a clue how to create jobs and that's really what the campaign should be about. how do we get our economy going? how do we create jobs?
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>> isn't some of that about bain? every time people start talking about jobs and not just -- i think you're right on the educational, those things are part of a conversation, but the minute you talk about jobs, as david axelrod said yesterday to anderson, listen, this then bain backs part of the conversation. here's what he told anderson last night. >> in isn't something new, it's part of the discussion. he entered it into the discussion and we're engaging in that discussion. wait, don't talk about my business experience, he can talk about it but he doesn't want us to talk about his business experience. >> isn't that part of the challenge when we were talking about the green energy investments, suddenly the record in massachusetts becomes relevant and it's hard to kind of navigate that. you can't talk about it without talking about a record in massachusetts and can't talk about business without talking about bain, isn't that a challenge? >> well, if you talk about bain, i would first take a look at
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some company that bain invested in like staples, highly successful. if you're going to have a free enterprise system, you have to have individuals willing to risk private capital. that's a big difference between what president obama has done, he risks capital, doesn't do it in a prudent way. romney did with bain, risked private capital to be able to invest in successful companies like staples. sometimes you win and sometimes you lose in that. quite honestly risk is an absolutely necessary part of a free enterprise system, so is failure. that's how you ferret out what are successful and unsuccessful organizations. if it's part of the conversation, it should be about what made america great and what drives an economy and that's the private or productive sector that creates long term self-sustaining jobs. governor romney understands that, president obama doesn't have a clue. >> would you advise governor romney to release for of his tax
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records? he said he's done what he has to do under the law. would you tell him, maybe five years or more? >> he's already released 500 pages. he can release 10,000, they would ask 20,000. at some point in time you draw the line and say american people have enough information -- >> you really believe that? >> that two years is more than plenty or do you think by not doing it it will drag out the conversation? >> as you know many people -- republicans are saying, what's if them if he's not releasing three years? >> i don't hear from people talking to me, i don't really believe most americans question governor romney's integrity or the fact he fully paid his taxes. >> i don't think that's the question at all. >> of successful -- success in the private sector of government service, of leading a very successful business to go save the olympics, i think people view governor romney as a real man of integrity. like i say, he can release
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10,000 pages and they would ask for 20,000, it's a never-ended process. we need to get back about talking what do we need to do to get the economy going and put the country back on a path of success rather than a path of failure it's on right now. >> you know the question isn't did he somehow not fully pay his taxes, right? the question becomes why not release more than the bare minimum when his father was the person who called for complete transparency and even in his conversation when he was running against ted kennedy, he insisted that ted kennedy release his -- calling for it. he felt it was necessary. they ended up both not releasing taxes, partly because the wealth of both men, right? isn't that part of the conversation? i don't think anybody thinks he didn't pay his taxes in full. >> soledad, the question is why does this administration, why does president obama run from his record? why is he unwilling.
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>> that's a different question. a question on the gop side. >> that is the question that americans are asking, how do we get our economy moving and again, i really don't think people -- i do not hear questions about bain or governor romney's tax returns. i hear questions about senator johnson, how, please get govern regulators off our backs. how can we borrow money? what is with keeping the smaller banks making loans to businesses they've been making loans to for 25 years? those are the types of questions as i talk to real americans, nothing about bain and taxpayers, and that's the true. >> you're calling people on "meet the press" not real americans, i'll let that go. we're out of time. i appreciate your time senator johnson and of course i'm happy to continue this conversation any time you'd like. we appreciate having you. thank you, sir. >> have a great day.
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>> likewise. in our next hour, we'll hear from the other side with senator majority whip dick durbin. still ahead on "starting point," a u.s. bank accused of handling blood money from drug cartels and terror groups. capitol hill demanding to know how that was allowed to happen. pop a pill and shed some pounds, decision day for the fd amount on a new diet drug. elizabeth cohen will join us to talk about qnexa. >> our get real this morning, would the new york knicks be linsane to let jeremy lin walk? deadline day is today and we'll discuss that straight ahead. you're watching "starting point." we're back in just a moment. this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west,
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welcome back, a couple of quick headlines, google's marisa mayor is taking over as ceo of yahoo!. she was one of the first two dozen employees at google. hsbc regulators taking the hot seat on capitol hill. a new senate report says the global banking giant failed to review billions of dollars worth of transactions with ties to drug cartels and terrorist groups. soledad, back to you. zoraida, thanks, at any moment now the fda is expected to announce he is going to approve a brand-new weight loss pill called qnexa. elizabeth cohen is with us this morning. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> how does this work? >> the drug is actually a combination of two different drugs, soledad, i don't know if
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you remember the phen phen drugs, one is an appetite suppressant and the other called topiramate, an anti-seizure medication that people are taking for epilepsy and migraines. i spoke to one woman in the clinical trials for the new drug and she said she just sometimes had to remind herself to eat. she said you know, before if someone offered her a chocolate chip cookie, she couldn't resist. while she was on the drug, she could say, eh, and pass it up. >> which sounds good if you're trying to diet and lose some weight. i guess the big question is, how much does it work? for people obviously it's not about losing five pounds, it's supposed to be really effective to get this approval. how much weight do people lose? >> on the drug people lost about 10% of their body weight. in this study, people weighed on average 227 pounds and got down to about 204 pounds.
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it didn't work that well for everyone, there was plenty of people that lost half of that amount of weight. as you said, this is for obese people or people who are overweight and have illnesses like high blood pressure or conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. it is not supposed to be taken by people who want to lose five pounds to look better in a bikini. we all know once it's on the market doctors will prescribe to all sorts of people. >> why are people against it? >> they are against it because the drug has some side effects that are kind of worry some for some people. for example, people who took the drug in the trials, some had increased heart rate and confusion and language problems and some women who take topiramate, one of the ingredients in the drug, have had children with cleft lip and
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palate. women will be told, use birth control, but they told them that in the studies and still had 34 pregnancies. so obviously that please use birth control thing doesn't always work. there's a concern we'll see more birth defects. >> thanks elizabeth, thanks. still ahead, is linsanity over here in new york? the knicks are hours away from letting jeremy lin get away. william durst is joining us and margaret hoover is back in her hot little orange dress and ron brownsteen. >> melon colored tie. here's black eyed peas, "i have a feeling." now you can apply sunblock
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welcome back. i'm zoraida sambolin, a medical milestone in the battle against hiv, the drug approved yesterday by the fda has been shown to reduce the risk of hiv infection and can be used as a preventative measure for people who are high risk. in china, accusing the united states of hypocrisy for making a fuss over uniforms made in china. a commentary from official state news agency ripped american lawmakers for playing politics
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with the controversy. and take a look at this. it took a couple of takes but president obama finally planted one on the first lady when they were caught on the kiss cam at team usa basketball game in washington. apparently they didn't lock lips when cameras focused on them in the first quarter but they got another chance in the fourth. >> would you or wouldn't you? >> you have to, you get booed in you didn't. they didn't and got booed and all right, we need to redo. it's a kiss cam. got to kiss. >> our team this morning, will just durst, a median, we worked in san francisco, nice to see you. >> back in the 4015 where's it's 41 degrees. >> ron brownstein, director of the washington adjourn. >> nice to have you. >> and margaret hoover, nice to have you back as well.
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let's get to our get real this morning. the span of about a month. remember this man owned the big apple, revifd the knicks and all we could talk about was lin sanity, now we find we're just a few hours from finding out if the knicks let go of jeremy lin. he signed a three-year $25.1 million offer with i guess offer sheet with the houston rockets. the knicks will have until mid mi night to match the offer. the rumor is they are not going to match the offer but let him walk because of the luxury tax issue they have in new york. carmelo anthony said he would love to see lin back. they had their ups and downs together. here's what he said, it's not up to me, it's up to the organization to say they want to match that ridiculous contract that's out there. ea he's a dear friend -- >> but a bit overpaid.
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>> my dear friend might be a bit overtime. anthony makes roughly $20 million. also well paid i would say. what do you think? goes away? >> sports is a business, right, in the end. very few players play their team with a single player. and for anybody not named chris paul, the idea of spending that type of money is not a good basketball decision. >> excitement, to his credit, he brought a spirit back to the knicks and didn't play a full season. right? >> a month, a very good month. >> a very good month but then he got injured. financially it would be a bit of a gamble for the knicks to put down on this. >> that's an understatement, a massive gambling. >> good luck to him in the rockets. >> the karma, he was released by the golden state warriors and houston rockets -- >> released by harvard, right? >> he graduated from harvard.
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>> basketball. he was released from the team. >> that's a remarkable story too. >> it is a great story but every indication a great young man, inspirational story. >> i feel like we're saying we're okay with it and wish you the best. >> in houston. >> hope you enjoy barbecue. >> and humidity. >> and here in new york. two americans freed by kidnappers after three days captive in egypt are now speaking to cnn. the latest on their release. we spoke to their children yesterday. we'll find out when they are coming home. michigan's democratic senator will talk about her plan to bring jobs home to america. is it just a show for election year? here's margaret's playlist, hot chip and "i was a boy from school" don't think i've heard this. margaret, always pushing boundaries, i love that. i'm barack obama and i approve this message.
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welcome back, democrats are ramping up efforts this week to paint mitt romney as an outsourcer of american jobs, going after his proposed changes to the u.s. tax code, president obama spoke to supporters in cincinnati yesterday. here's what he said. >> we don't need a president who plans to ship more jobs overseas or wants to give more tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas. i want do give tax breaks to companies investing right here in ohio. >> that's the kind of line that will get you big applause in ohio. today debbie steb now joins us. thanks for being with us. >> good to be back with you. >> we appreciate that. tell me about the plan. >> this is something i introduced back in may and it builds on efforts i've been involved with for a long time to bring manufacturing jobs back to any kind of jobs back to
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america. it's very simple. right now unbelievably, we pay for part of the cost of somebody closing up shop and shipping jobs overseas because they can write that off as a business expense. when people hear that, they usually say, are you kidding me? unfortunately not. my bill would stop that and say, we're happy to have you write off the cost of bringing jobs home and will add 20% tax credit for your costs on top of it. it's very simple and straight forward. it will be talking about tomorrow and today and have a vote on thursday. >> very blocked, many people would say there's no chance at all this is going to pass. >> well, you know, soledad, it should pass. why in the world could anybody -- this is not a democratic or republican issue. this is american. this is about whether or not in a global economy we're going to compete by successful looking at every part of the tax code, everything that we do to be able
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to invest in america. we need to make things here and grow things here. that's how you have an economy. we need to bring jobs back. right now china says come on over, we'll build a plant for you. of course by the way we'll steal your patent afterwards, but they are aggressively moving on every single front to take our jobs. this is simple, we're not going to pay for your moving, period. we'll pay for you to come back. we're not going to pay for your leaving. that ought to be a great bipartisan place to start. >> senator stabenow, good morning. >> good morning. >> a key to incentivizing american companies to move jobs back to the u.s. was to impose a global minimum tax on operations abroad. did you include that in your pro owesal and if not, why not? >> well, ron, first of all, i want this to be very simple and straight forward. we're looking at one piece that i think should have strong bipartisan support.
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we need broader tax reform as a member of fps committee i'm very involved with that. our chairman senator bacchus is focused on that. i'm confident we'll have comprehensive tax reform. we get involved in the proposals with a lot of different things in them and somebody finds something not to support. my feeling when i introduced this, let's focus on one thing, pay for them moving or not. >> just to be clear, in this debate going on now this week with mitt romney as a supporter, as are some democratic experts of a territorial tax system which completes eliminates taxation, the president is saying all u.s. companies should pay a mun mum of u.s. taxes on their foreign earnings. which side of that debate do you stand with today? >> well, what i'm going to support is every effort that incentivizes making things in america, jobs in america. we do have a big debate as you said, whether it's going to be a
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territorial system or worldwide system, probably needs to be some kind of blend in the middle to balance it out. we know we have a global marketplace, but right now we have too many incentives that are actually incentivizing jobs going overseas, how do we support innovation and how do we support manufacturing in america? we want to be fair to global companies certainly in america, we have many of them in michigan but the incentive has to be to make things in america. that's the lens through which i look. >> senator stabenow, margaret hoover here. >> hi. >> one of the things many republicans and democrats would say, the thing we could do most easily is to reform the corporate tax code. that means not just lowering the corporate tax rate, one of the highest in the industrialized world but closing loopholes that make it difficult for an uneven playing field for some companies to get around the corporate tax code. this you could have bipartisan
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support and pass in a contentious election year. why not try to have a bipartisan bill rather than one that only has democratic support? >> first of all, there's no reason this shouldn't be bipartisan support. this is the number one loophole. let's start with this one. i support closing other loopholes and don't support looking at rnd investment as a loophole as the author of the only advanced manufacturing tax cut that's in the code, a 30% cut for equipment and new building construction for new manufacturing in america, i want to make sure that's not viewed as a loophole. it's all in how you look at it. we can talk about large packages. we know the probability of passing a large package right now is pretty slim before the election but we can do this. we can start with loophole number one. let's stop paying for them moving. >> you've said you believe going to be a nuance and another tax
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that maybe includes elements, governor romney supports a territorial tax. there are plenty of president's advisers who would support that again and president obama does not support the territorial tax. isn't that problematic when his own advisers are saying they support the territorial tax? >> i think going forward we've got to have a very thoughtful bipartisan discussion on tax reform. there's no question, there's too many loopholes and no question we're in a global economy and we have to make sure we are understanding that in terms of global companies in america. i do think we're going to have to move in a more balanced way that recognizes that. but again, every other country is fighting to get what we have, which is a strong middle class, which starts with making things. and so we -- our strength in america is making things and growing things. if we make things here and grow things here, the jobs will be here. so from my perspective, whatever we do, whatever tax policy we change and we absolutely need tax reform, we have to start
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from the premise that we aren't going to incentivizing jobs going overseas. let's start with something like this that i don't know why in the world anybody would be against closing a loophole that pays for people no move the jobs overseas. >> senator stabenow, thanks for joining us, we appreciate it. billionaire businessman sir richard branson has a new venture, saving sharks. that's me swimming with the sharks. >> you can see her. >> look at that crazy hair. we're going to go on the under water swim and i'll show you how i did it. [ cellphone rings ]
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welcome back. when you hear the word shark, you think jaws and actually up to 73 million sharks are hunted for their fins to make shark fin soup, which is a delicacy in china towns everywhere and china of course. even though there's a myth they can grow back, they don't grow back and the sharks just die. richard branson is the founder of virgin united and partner with wild aid to stop the practice. we had a chance to talk about his latest passion, swimming with sharks with whale sharks, right off the coast of mexico. take a look. >> good morning. >> what was your reaction? the first time that you were sort of eyeball to eyeball with a whale shark? >> just the sheer beauty, it is the biggest fish in the ocean, just enormous, gentle giant in
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the ocean and just couldn't bear the idea that people get them in the millions for soup. there's a danger the species could be e stinxtinct. we need people to realize how wonderful they are and why he shouldn't be slaughtered. >> shawn hendricks is passionate about shark conservation. he's going to capture our video under water. >> see the fins? >> oh, my god. >> shark finning, up to 7 million sharks finned and killed for shark fin soup around the world every single year. and in contrast, five people around the entire planet are killed by sharks. >> there's a huge misconception, sharks have far more to fear from us than we do for them. >> this is the largest ago agg s of whale sharks in the world. >> peter knight, of wild aid, a
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group that addresses the human threat to wildlife. >> are they threatened? >> they are. >> nobody knows how many of any species of shark there are in the world. we do know from >> up to 300 come here every year to feed on fish eggs. and it's only been discovered really in the last four years or so, but it's rapidly developed into an amazing eco tourism opportunity. as you can see, quite a major industry for the local people. >> is it possible to save the sharks? create a sustainable business for fishermen, and make sure they are both viable, not sort of save one but kill off the other? >> yeah. i think that, you know, here is the perfect example of it, off cancun. these fishermen used to, you know, fish these sharks. sell their fins. now people are flying from all over the world to come here to see the sharks and swim with the sharks. and look right behind us here.
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>> oh, my gosh. yeah. >> now it's my turn to take the plunge. >> soledad, there's one swimming right towards you. that's me, inches away from a massive whale shark. and i've got to tell you, the first 10 minutes i was swimming near the mouth all i could think of was, wow, one wrong move, i'm just going to go right in. >> well, actually, i have been halfway in the mouth of a whale shark, and it doesn't want you in there. it just spat me out. >> why do you think sharks get such a bad rap? >> because of the film "jaws." people have such a bad image of sharks. it's sad that film ever got made. sharks, you know, will only by the people by mistake. and that only happens maybe a handful of times a year throughout the whole world. and i have swum with great
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whites. i have swum with tiger sharks, whale sharks, all kinds of sharks. >> so why does it matter? what happens if the species disappears? >> ultimately, i think humans will disappear, if we let all our species disappear. you know, there's a fragile balance in this world. and, you know, sharks have a reason. and if you take one element of that away, you know, the whole balance breaks down. you know, i just think it would be very, very sad reflection on mankind if we allowed that to happen. >> so if you want to see more of the video, me swimming with the sharks -- >> that is so cool. >> very cool. >> you can go to our blog, cnn.com/startingpoint. it was so much fun. very rocky waters, so at one point we were all upchucking off the boat, of course, because you're like this the whole time. >> ginger is good for that apparently. >> yeah. >> it sounds like a title of one
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of those self-help books. swimming with sharks. >> how i survived in tv news. >> the title for your memoir. >> yes, yes. version 2.0 of my memoir. that was so much fun. there's a strategy, which they tell you to swim up to the shark's eye so that they see you. which i was like, huh, what happens if they don't see me? and then you tuck behind the gills, because they'll just bring you along. >> shark drafting. >> yes. absolutely. >> or the tour de france. >> exactly. >> and it kind of worked like that. >> they tell you that when you're caught with a shark, you're supposed to punch it in the nose. >> that's a great white. >> yeah. >> i never understood that. >> you get in there, and you're like, i'm not touching this thing. if it's good with me, i'm good with it, and we're going to be happy. we'll have part two of our conversation and talk a little bit about his business philosophy, sir richard branson, and why he is such a risk taker.
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swimming with sharks is kind of the least dangerous and crazy thing he's done. "starting point" is back in just a moment.
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still ahead this morning on "starting point," a desperate search is going on in iowa for two young girls who went for a bike ride last friday. they never returned. we'll take you live to their hometown this morning. and the approaching fiscal cliff. with the bush tax cuts set to expire and drastic spending cuts about to kick in, we'll chat with illinois democratic senator dick durbin. and global human trafficking. it's a crisis. 27 million people around the world are victims. actress jada pinkett smith is
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back with us. she's going to be testifying on capitol hill bringing her daughter willow, chatting with us this morning about how to get involved. you're watching "starting point." we're back in just a moment. led. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye-care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. [ male announcer ] ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health. now, that's a pill worth taking. [ male announcer ] ocuvite. help protect your eye health.
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fiscal cliff. democrats and republicans refusing to work out their problems. could it drag us back into recession? dick durbin straight ahead. and jada pinkett smith is back with us. she'll be joined by her 11-year-old daughter, willow, to tell us why they are joining the fight against human trafficking. plus, the original karate kid, ralph matchio, a new project to look at american gypsy. that's his new project. it's tuesday, july 17, 2012. ♪ >> i have this on my play list. >> everybody is loving ralph this morning because she played bruce springsteen. >> you weren't even born when this came out. >> maybe just a little. >> you weren't born when the french revolution happened, but you still know what happened there.
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>> william durst is with us this morning. a comedian. margaret hoover, author of "american individualism." nice to have everybody back. i'm so excited to talk to ralph macchio. he is the executive producer of this new project to look at american gypsies. he'll talk about that in just a moment. but first of all, the fiscal cliff. it could give americans a much smaller paycheck on january 1. the bush tax cuts and payroll tax cuts expire. while the automatic cuts included in last year's debt ceiling deal go into effect, which means obviously these two things happen at the exact same time, problem. a democratic senator says she doesn't see any compromise anytime in the near future. listen. >> looking back at the offers from the other side that represented the greatest attempts at compromise, it's clear that while we were close on the spending side, republicans hadn't even left their corner when it came to revenue. once again, if republicans won't work with us on a balanced approach, we are not going to
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get a deal. >> that was senator patty murray. we've got dick durbin, senator dick durbin with us this morning, the assistant majority leader, a democrat from illinois. nice to see you, sir. thank you for talking with us. do you think we'll go into 2013 with no deal? >> well, i think we can work out an agreement, but we have to start with the premise that if we are going to realistically reduce the deficit, the top earners of america have to pay their fair share. otherwise, we'll be facing dramatic cuts in medicare and programs like education. i don't think it's fair to working families across america for that outcome. >> you heard what patty murray said just a moment ago. if it comes down to let them all expire for everybody, or extend them all for everybody, what would you pick? >> well, i certainly don't want to see any tax increase for working families. that's the president's position. that's my position. and it's within the power of congress to avoid that. but if we have to have this day of reckoning in order to finally
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break through and have meaningful deficit reduction that still creates a growing economy, then let's face it. >> what does that mean? does that mean that you're saying that if we have to have a day of reckoning that in fact you'd let them expire, which then would raise the taxes on the middle class people you just said you don't want to raise taxes on? >> there's a very real possibility, unless there's an agreement. but people of goodwill in both political parties should work to avoid it. i want to work to avoid it. let's start with the basic premise. everybody in america has to do their fair share to reduce the debt and keep this economy moving forward, and that means saying to the top 2% of wage earners in america, listen, you're not getting the tax breaks did you in the past, but you're doing this for the good of our country and frankly in the end we'll all be better off, including the wealthy. >> senator durbin, let me talk to ron for a moment. >> the modern number in the modern senate is 40. are there 40 senate democrats who today or in december are willing to let the tax cuts for
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everyone expire, rather than extending them for those in the top earners earning $250,000 or more? are there 40 democratic voters that would bring them down rather than extending them? >> what would be the political implications of bringing the whole thing down? >> among other things, people say they are concerned about the deficit. going off the fiscal cliff would have a significant reduction of the deficit. there's also the risk of having a tremendous consideration in t con -- contraction in the economy. but are they willing to tear the whole thing down? >> do you think there's another 38 willing to say, let's rip it down? done and done. >> a majority of the senate, and that would be virtually all of the democratic senators, a majority, are prepared to vote today to protect middle income families from any tax increase. we are saying the top 2% should pay their fair share of the limited amount. if you're asking whether or not
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we are going to give away this or that before the day of reckoning, i agree with senator murray. we have to face this honestly and openly. we can't kick it down the road anymore. >> but would you vote today in letting them all expire? sno that's where i thought you were going. >> yes. >> which would raise taxes on the middle class. >> i'm not going to take that off the table. we have to face this once and for all in a bipartisan way. those who want to choose let's take this or that off the table, no. we're going to face this thing once and for all and get the right solution for america's future. >> earlier this morning i was talking to senator ron johnson, and he was saying -- and as you know, i think there's a tempted shift if not a shift by the gop to start talking about solyndra and move all of conversations about bain and taxes. and here's what he said about the cronyism around solyndra. listen. >> solyndra, it doesn't make the
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investment a good investment. it still is half a billion dollars of taxpayer money that was squandered. there's about $35 billion of these energy loans that have been, you know, guaranteed to different companies. $16 billion went into one program where you've only created 2300 jobs, which if those loans go bad like solyndra, there's over $16 million per job. that's really the main problem here. president obama simply doesn't understand that it's the free enterprise system, the private sector, the productive sector, not the government sector that creates long-term self-sustaining jobs. >> fact check took a look at his numbers and it's not $16 billion but it was $10 billion. he has a point. it was a bad deal. doesn't he have sort of a point in reraising this debate, especially since you're trying to move the conversation away from bain and taxes for governor romney? >> both mitt romney and the republican senators, all of them, are trying to race away
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from bain capital. they cannot explain or defend the policies in this country that exported good american jobs overseas to low wage countries. that's why mitt romney is saying he was retro actively retired. what in the world does that mean? >> he doesn't say that. his people said that. but he specifically did not say that. >> part of his campaign. but he has been paid $10000 a year from this firm that he supposedly retro actively retired from and was still listed as the president and ceo. let's step aside. back to senator johnson's point. throughout our history, our government has made investments in research and basic investment. think about all of the pharmaceutical breakthroughs that came through because the national institutes of health did the research, the basic research that led to new drugs. the same thing is true on clean energy. if we're going to move forward to have clean energy, we have to invest in new opportunities. some of them will pay off. most of them will, but not all of them. and to condemn this government
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investment in the infrastructure and energy of america's future is just plain wrong. >> one tax reform that governor romney is suggesting and proposing is a territorial tax system. what do you think of that? >> well, if i understand what he's saying, it basically would allow those who have businesses overseas to repatriate their profits to the united states at a lower tax rate. sadly, that is another tax code incentive to send business overseas. i know those incentives worked for bain capital. they made millions of dollars for mitt romney. but it's exactly opposite of what we should do. we're going to move this week on a matter that is sponsored by senator debbie staba naugh to stop putting incentives in to move jobs overseas, but instead reward companies that bring jobs back to america. >> the territorial tax system would mean that companies with employees overseas would only pay taxes in the country where they are operating. >> exactly. >> and actually there's bipartisan support for that. and there's groups like the
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simpson-bowles commission on fiscal responsibility that supports it. members of president obama's export council support that. the council on job and competitiveness, they support that. so what you're saying, and what debbie stabanaugh was saying is not supported by many of the president's own committee members. >> i voted for bowles-simpson, but that's one provision -- i didn't agree with all of it. and that's one provision i disagreed. why? because the last time we tried it, and so did companies, if you move the jobs overseas and want to bring the money back, you have to promise to create jobs back in america with the profit. they didn't do it. they took it in compensation for their executives and dividends for the shareholders. they didn't create new jobs in america. we have to focus on creating jobs in this country, not rewarding companies for pushing jobs overseas. >> nice to see you, sir.
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appreciate it. >> thank you, soledad. >> you can see the debate obviously that's blewing now. i thought it was fascinating. and his tone sounded like he's confident they have 38 other democrats who would say, let's go off the fiscal cliff. >> he is in the majority of the senate. >> well, for a different proposition, to extend them for the 98%. margaret, you said some democrats are only raiwilling t raise taxes on those who have over $1 million. there are democrats worried about losing the support of people between $250,000 and $1 million. it really is an incredible conversion. >> there are a lot of americans who are paying $200,000 to $250,000 in taxes. because they are filing -- so to call them millionaires, people who are getting $250,000, to lump them in the category of millionaires and billionaires, it isn't fair.
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is that disin-jgenuous? >> if you do reduce it, you're talking about $800 billion over a decade which is a significant contribution. >> you're only talking about the money after $250,000. >> right. >> federal revenue is at the lowest level since the early 1950s. >> but the economy is not growing. >> also because of the reductions that were imposed under the bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. federal taxes is a share of income for american families is as low now as it has been since the late 1970s. >> if the economy were growing, we would have higher revenues. >> but percentagewise, there's also the calculation. >> right. we significantly reduced taxes in 2001 and 2005. the only time in american history we cut taxes during a war. three years later, poverty was much higher.
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and we are left with a situation where we have huge deficits from both ends. spending is higher and revenue is much lower. and it's hard to believe you don't have to deal with both to deal with the problem. >> will it happen in january, though, is the big question. other stories now making the news. zoraida has that. >> a gunman is on the loose this morning wanted for an early-morning mass shooting at a bar in tuscaloosa, alabama. this surveillance video shows a suspect walking with the gun in his hands. this was around 12:30 a.m. police say he shot 17 people, at least one of them critically wounded. three people are seriously injured there. police are planning a news conference. and of course we will bring you any new information as soon as we get it. the fbi is launching a criminal investigation this morning working with authorities overseas to find out how sewing needles ended up in four sandwiches on delta airlines flights. the needles were discovered on four separate flights all traveling to the united states
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from amsterdam. officials say one passenger was injured, but declined medical treatment. sandra endo joins us from bc. and sandra, what have authorities uncovered so far? >> reporter: the investigation is still underway, and the fbi is local authorities in the netherlands are still trying to find out how the needles got into those turkey sandwiches. a delta spokesperson says that the needles were found in sandwiches on flights from amsterdam to minneapolis, seattle, and two flights to atlanta. two of the needles were found by passengers, and one was discovered by an air marshal. when delta found out about the needles in the food, the airline says it notified all 18 flights from amsterdam to stop serving the sandwiches. here's what one passenger who got one of the contaminated sandwiches said when he spoke to kstp. >> i bit down on it so that i wasn't biting down on the sharp side but on the flat side. it could have been, you know, a bad injury.
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orally. but had i swallowed that down, i would have a needle inside. that would be very concerning to me. >> gate gourmet provided the sandwiches which were prepared in amsterdam to delta. a spokesperson for the company says, this is a terribly upsetting situation. first and foremost is the safety of the traveling public. there's nothing more important to us at all than the safety of the passengers and crews. gate gourmet says it's fully cooperating with the fbi and local authorities in the lethbridge and is conducting its own full-scale investigation. the company says it does provide food to other airlines but so far have received no other reports or complaints. >> that is very scary. we'll continue to follow that developing story. a desperate search in iowa this morning for a pair of young kozins. 8-year-old elizabeth collins and 10-year-oldleric cook were last seen before they went for a
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bicycle ride on friday. lyric's mother talked to anderson cooper. >> they smile a lot. they are pretty persistent in the things that they want. they're great. they're really great, you know what i mean? >> yes, they are. >> and we really look forward to what they had to offer in their future and the life that god had for them. >> a live report on the search effort from iowa at the bottom of the hour. and the two americans held captive in egypt for three days are now in israel this morning waiting to return home. both tell cnn they are happy and relieved. egyptian police say they negotiated with the kidnappers, but did not give in to their demands for the release of an imprisoned relative. and a heart stopping save by an off-duty new york bus driver. cell phone video shows a 7-year-old girl jumping up and down on an air conditioner in her third floor apartment window right outside. that's when steve st. bernard
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sprang into action. >> i ran over there. hoping that she wouldn't fall. and when i got there, she was still standing there, and i just like positioned myself. hopefully i would catch her. >> well, the little girl's mother says she was watching her son when that incident happened. she said the air conditioner's panels were supposed to be secure, but the machine she purchased was damaged and dangerous. the nypd says the parents will not be charged with a crime. back to you, soledad. >> that is so crazy to see that crowd that had gathered. >> so grateful that man was there to save her. >> just tore a muscle in his arm. that was the only damage to him. that was lucky. thanks, z. still ahead on "starting point," jada pinkett smith and her daughter, willow, are going to washington, d.c. what they are doing to try to stop sex trafficking. and tough call this morning. a mother is trying to teach her 13-year-old daughter a lesson by posting this for all her friends to see. did she go too far? "starting point" is back in a
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moment. [ groans ] [ marge ] psst. constipated? phillips' caplets use magnesium, an ingredient that works more naturally with your colon than stimulant laxatives, for effective relief of constipation without cramps. thanks.
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good morning, students. today we're gonna continue...
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welcome back to "starting point." a recent report from the state department shows that more than 27 million people around the world are victims of human trafficking. it's a $32 billion industry, and in many cases, girls, sometimes boys, as young as 11 are bought and sold into prostitution. the senate foreign relations committee will hold a hearing in just about an hour. that brings us back to actress jada pinkett smith and her daughter, willow. they'll be putting their celebrity power behind the cause. they join us from washington,
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d.c., this morning with three survivors of you had mang trafficking. it's nice to see all of you. jada, what's the focus of today's hearing if what's your role going to be? >> today is just basically testifying about what i have experienced and with what i've seen here in the united states as well as abroad. >> willow, your mom told me a couple of weeks ago you were the one who got her involved, because you had been doing some research on this. what do you think that kids your age, and then adults also, what can we possibly do even for the human trafficking that's happening here in the united states? like what do we do? >> what can you guys do to stop it? >> yeah. or just be part of the awareness. >> i feel that you can do a lot of research. go out and find some people and kind of get them together, make a group, and make an actual movement. and help people go out and help them. >> so a movement, jada, would do what?
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as we talked about the last time, a lot of people are stunned to hear that there is human trafficking in the united states. and when you find out, then what's the next step? >> well, yeah. i think at this point it is about educating yourself. and realizing how it exists. and today we'll be talking about the tdpa, the trafficking victims protection act, which has not been reauthorized on a federal level quite yet. so we want to push to make that happen. and of course we have the case act in california for this november. we'll be pushing to make sure that bill gets passed. it will be the toughest anti-trafficking law in this country. and so those will be our two actions right now. >> let me talk to some of the young women that have you with you today. minh, i know that you were trafficked by your own parents. can you tell me about your situation? what happened? >> yeah. i was sexually abused as a young child. physically abused and neglected.
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and really had the foundation of them prostituting and selling me. because they were my parents, i would do anything for them >> i could hear most of your story. you were saying because they were your parents, you would do anything for them. and i know that your story is not that unusual. monica, i hope your microphone is a bit better. you were kidnapped when you were 15 years old. tell me what happened. >> just like many other survivors of child exploitation, everybody's story is different, whether they are being kidnapped or coerced. >> had a little difficulty hearing you there. let me go back to jada. and joaquin was a run away, and i know that's very typical sort of portal into sex trafficking, isn't it? >> absolutely.
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you find a lot of young people who through the foster care system or falling through the foster care system or young people who have actually run away that become vulnerable to being exploited. and young people who are, you know, being abused at home as well. and so there's a variety of different ways in which young people get involved and being exploited. >> well, good for both of you for using your star power, jada and willow, to make a big difference. and this issue, obviously we talk about it a lot, it's an issue we care a lot about here on this show. please pass along to the young women with you this morning that we appreciate them joining us and i know that they'll be there with you while you testify and probably be testifying as well. we appreciate their time. >> absolutely. >> i think we had audio problems. i don't know what that noise
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was. that's our audio system going down. we have to take a short break. we're back in just a moment.
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our tough call this morning, a mom in ohio trying to teach her teenaged daughter a lesson is using a little cyber discipline after the girl was disrespectful of the mother in front of her friends. denise abbott is the mom's name. she created a facebook profile picture showing her daughter, right there, 13-year-old daughter, ava, red x across her mouth and the words, i do not know how to keep my mouth shut. i am no longer allowed to use facebook or my phone. ask me why. people will ask her, and she has to type a response. >> and now it's on national tv.
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do you know what's going to happen to that poor little girl? >> she is totally humiliated. >> is that a tough call? is it too much? >> more than 30 people have inquired what's going on. and she's had to say i treated my mom disrespectfully. she emailed them, i have decided not to do this again. i have learned my lesson. in about a week, she can go back on facebook and use her cell phone. >> i don't know. is this a tough call? >> i'm the parent of one teenager and one teenager emeritus. i am not second guessing anybody's ways of getting through 13 to 21. >> there is cyber bullying and now cyber discipline. i asked a mom before i came on, and she said you've got to hit them where it hurts. apparently, this is not obviously physically hitting a child. but this is disciplining a child where, you know, where it actually will make a difference in their behavior. it seems certainly reasonable to me. >> thank god there's a subject that i can actually mock and scoff and taunt, because we have been talking about human trafficking.
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senators ron johnson and dick durbin. not the funniest humans on the planet. >> you couldn't find the light side of human trafficking? >> i would think this election would be tons of material for you. >> it's the best ever. there have been other elections where there's a lot of candidates, but none have always had a shot at the presidency like this one. every republican -- except for jon huntsman, who was too reasonable, and he's not going to get the vice presidential slot. >> own man who speaks mandarin in the white house, right? >> it's a broadway musical. >> what has been the source of all of your jokes? >> the best ones have been romney is a font of mountain. i think he is electile dysfunctional. i really do. and president obama is always good, because no matter what you think of his policies, you have to admire his ability not to get involved in them. [ laughter ] >> we have to take a break.
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you guys can talk on the commercial break. still ahead, the karate kid is all grown up. we'll talk to ralph macchio about his new documentary series called "american gypsies." it's fascinating. plus, drought is threatening crops in half of our nation. what do we do about it? and here is one of craig's play list, the rolling stones," jumping jack flash." and you might notice he has flat stanley and his little girlfriend. we'll talk about why fema is using those two characters to try to reach out to kids. that's ahead. ♪ it's all right now ♪ jumping jack flash ♪ it's a gas, gas, gas [ kimi ] atti and i had always called oregon home. until i got a job in the big apple. adjusting to city life was hard for me. and becoming a fulltime indoor cat wasn't easy for atti.
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welcome back. let's start with zoraida with a look at the day's headlines. >> their bikes were found, but they are gone. it's a desperate search resuming
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this morning in iowa. authorities have started to drain a nearby lake for any sign of elizabeth collins and 10-year-old lyric cook. the two are cousins and were last seen by their grandmother before they went on a bicycle ride on friday. jim spellman is live in evansdale, iowa. jim, what is the latest there? how far have they gotten in draining the lake? >> well, we'll take a look here. you can see how fast this water level has gone down. they started this yesterday. they think by maybe late tomorrow, the lake could be completely drained. in a sense, they admit they are grasping at straws. they have already gone through the lake searching what they can using poles from small row boats, but they just don't have anything else to go on. they had about 1,000 volunteers over the weekend trying to search all sorts of wooded areas around here, and they found nothing. the good news, they also have no indication that there was any kind of abduction. but with no progress being made in the case, it's unbelievably stressful for this family. here's what an aunt told anderson cooper last night.
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>> it's very baffling to understand how someone got off with a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old at the same time because it's as though they disappeared into thin air in broad daylight. >> reporter: i just spoke with an investigator on this case who told me it's like these girls evaporated, zoraida. >> very sad. i know that you are following all of the developments there for us. jim spellman live in evansdale, iowa. thank you. three more men are now coming forward telling police they were abused by jerry sandusky in the 1970s or '80s. they are the first people to accuse him of abuse before the 1990s, and it could mean that the 68-year-old coach began preying on children in his early 20s. there is no mention of victims before the '90s in the report by former fbi director louie freeh. according to state college.com, the university is
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changing the name of the student camp ground right outside beaver stadium from paternoville to nittaniville. george and barbara bush will not be attending the republican convention in tampa next month. a spokesman for the 88-year-old former president says he's confined to a wheelchair by a disease that's limiting his mobility and his ability to travel from his home in maine. back to you, soledad. >> i bet he would hate to miss that. one has to imagine at that age and his experience he'd love to be there. z, thank you. well, the wildest drought in decades is now gripping more than half the country. 55% of the u.s. was in a moderate to extreme drought at the end of june. last time that happened was in 1958 when 58% was covered in drought. on top of that, 80% of the u.s. is abnormally dry. and it's really, really hot. 12 months from july, july 2007
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to june 2012, the hottest on record. and that could mean more wildfires and emergency situations, and also it's the beginning of hurricane season. are you prepared? all of this brings us to talk about what fema is doing. and the fema director is with us this morning. let's start with the wildfires, if we can. what do you do at this point? they are burning so much. >> well, you know, we talk about wildfires. you get certain conditions where in many cases the only thing you can do is evacuate people, and you hope you get better conditions and it rains. but really these fires are a condition of the drought. until the drought gets better, wildfires will be present throughout the west. >> and then to flash flooding. >> because of all of the cover being burnt off. when we do get rains, they will probably also run the risk of increased flash flooding. >> how about hurricane season? we are a month in. >> we are still early in the hurricane season. we already had a couple of named storms. but the peak is usually the latter part of august, september, and october. we have a long way to go, and we need to keep our guard up and
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pay attention. >> is there any way to predict the number of storms? i know those predictions aren't always accurate. >> there's a lot of people that predict. my prediction is you ought to be ready for the one that hits your community. and nobody can tell you whether or not that will happen. so just get ready and be prepared. >> some of the advice and getting ready part is sort of what you brought with us, the props you brought. hold them up and show everybody. you now are using flat stanley and his friend, flat stella, to talk about the message of getting ready. and this is for the kids. >> this is for the kids. we talk about disasters. it's kind of a scary subject. >> yeah, it is. >> one of the lessons from katrina was we don't do a good job making sure we are focused on children and their needs and issues. so kind of a happenstance, my nephew conner sent me his flat stanley. and people were paying attention to it. and i thought maybe this would be a different way to communicate with children about something that can be real scary but things they need to know. so we partnered with the flat stanley organization, and we now have our two newest employees, flat stanley and flat stella.
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>> they travel well. >> yes, they travel well. and they are going to help tell the story in the words of a child to help take away some of the fear so they are better prepared and understand things that are going on. >> three ways that people should be prepared. what are they? >> have a plan. probably the biggest part is make sure you have good family communication plan as we saw with the power outages. make sure you can let people know if you're ok. know an evacuation route. also for the wildfires. be ready to go. and the third thing is, sit down with the kids and make sure they know what the plan is in case their school, they are not at home, you're not around when something happens. the first couple of hours are always the most critical. so have a good plan. >> and most terrifying when you can't reach people. craig fugate, nice to have you. i like flat stiella. i have never seen her before. >> good to fema.gov and go to the blog and learn about their first day at fema.
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>> all right. thank you. still ahead this morning, we'll talk one-on-one with the original karate kid, current "american gypsies" executive producer, ralph macchio in our studio live. come on out, ralph. i had the biggest crush out a few years ago. >> is that had? >> well, let's see how it turns out after the interview. his play list, bruce springsteen. i've been waiting to see you. >> good to see you. you see us, at the start of the day. on the company phone list that's a few names longer. you see us bank on busier highways. on once empty fields. everyday you see all the ways all of us at us bank are helping grow our economy. lending more so companies and communities can expand, grow stronger and get back to work. everyday you see all of us serving you,
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first, wash the car. then the wax. and remember, no questions. >> yeah, but i -- >> wax on, right hand. wax off, left hand.
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wax on, wax off. >> who does not remember that scene? ralph macchio, the original karate kid. a new role now, though. the executive producer of a new series called "american gypsies." and it follows the johns family. here the main character, bobby, sits down to talk with his daughter. >> what do you want to do? >> you're going to be mad. >> i promise you i won't be mad at you. just tell me what it is you want to do. >> i think i want to try acting. >> well, hold on. don't do that. it's not our tradition to do things like that. the gypsies rules, we're not supposed to mix with nongypsy people. performing, public schools, it's all part of that. the elders are worried that the children will choose to be exploited. i think it's crazy, but most gypsies just don't want to take that gamble. >> wow.
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ralph macchio, nice to have you with us this morning. >> great to be here. thanks. >> why gypsies? >> well, this project came to me. a film student friend of mine and his partner were making a documentary for their graduate project. and they showed me this footage. and they say we think this would make a great tv series. and i was just fascinated with the subculture. does this exist? and where is it? it's in new york. and the characters started popping off the screen. they were like "the sopranos" meets "jersey shore" a little bit, but with this culture and age-old traditions. i just found it fascinating, and it's taken almost five years to get it up and running. but fortunately for us, national geographic is giving us a big push. >> how did you identify them? because somebody brought you the tape? >> yes. >> you don't think of nat gero when you think of "sopranos" meets "jersey shore." >> exactly. you know how networks go through new world orders with new
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regimes of people, administrations. i think, you know, it falls within that yellow frame of national geographic based on the fact that it's, you know, age-old traditions. the culture. the romany culture, which is what they like to be called. gypsies is slang. but it makes for a better, you know, title for tv. >> romanys go home. >> rice. >> people obviously wonder about reality tv, how much is reality and how much is tv. how much do you think the act of filming changed what you ultimately were able to record? >> well, that's a good question. this is my first foray into the nonscripted world. to me, it's all about story telling. if i connect to the characters, and if you invest in the characters and what they are going through, and you are also educated by some of what i didn't know, which is what you will get from the show, and yet have the entertainment factor up
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there, there is a blurred line with, you know, this -- you can argue there's little reality in reality television. but this is our family. the johns family is the family. this isn't cast, you know, like we found our snooki, we found our pauley d. you know what i mean? this is the family. this is their story. and it's one family. and one story. not maybe indicative of all. >> your premiere is tonight. you said this is your first foray. are you nervous? >> no, i'm not nervous. it's been a long journey. it's taken five years of development over a few networks. and for me, it was just, you know, collaborating with the production company, which is stick figure productions. and getting -- you know, pushing that rock up the mountain. so where it falls, it is very entertaining, and also eye opening to a culture that exists right here. >> so five years in production. >> preproduction.
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>> and how recent was what you're seeing? >> what you'll see in the pilot episode is probably a little bit over a year. and then as the -- you know, because it's tough -- you're not -- as much as the -- you know, you're producing a show, and you're still documenting what is happening. so it's not -- >> part of the culture of the romanys is to be underground. >> exactly. great question. and it's not really a question but i'm making it a question because i know it's coming. the johns family, bob sr., who is the father, the patriarch of the family, is ailing and he has five sons. it's very godfather. we have our fredo. we have our sonny. we have our michael. and an age order. they respect their elders. that's one thing that's very relatable. family is the first. and the elders are paramount and of utmost importance. when they settle disputes, it's through an elder system.
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the father feels that the traditions are waning and over time will be lost. he sees one foot in, one foot out. and he sees that even within his own five sons. he doesn't want that to be lost. and they are doing this based on his wishes. >> interesting. >> and may not be embraced by everyone, but that's the johns family story. >> fascinating story. ralph, nice to have you. yes, my crush is still alive. we have to take a break. "starting point" is back in a moment.
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today the story of a man who always dreamed of helping the sick. here is dr. sanjay gupta with this week's "human factor." >> i'm going to ask you first to just take three deep breaths. >> richard dickens is a social worker who works exclusively with cancer patients. here he is using meditation to help patients cope. >> it really is just calming the body and quieting the mind. >> reporter: he knows all too well the emotional struggle of being sick. as he was looking forward to graduate school to become a social worker, he got devastating news. >> i got the invitation to columbia university, my number one choice on a monday, and a cancer diagnosis the next day. >> at 37, he was diagnosed with advanced non-hodgkins lymphoma. he underwent six months of aggressive chemo and a bone
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marrow transplant. but he didn't give up his dream of helping others. >> without ever anticipating i'd get cancer, i wanted to work with cancer or aids patients. >> reporter: during his illness, he stumbled across cancer care, an organization that helps people through the erkmotional d financial maze that comes with cancer. once in remission, he was able to start grad school at columbia. >> we do have a very small grant. >> after graduating, he began working for cancer care. and started to run the very support group he previously participated in as a patient. today, he's cancer care's mind body project coordinator. >> my life is definitely very rich, very rewarding, and i feel i'm where i'm supposed to be. >> dr. sanjay gupta, cnn reporting. [ buzz ] off to work! did you know honey nut cheerios is america's favorite cereal? oh, you're good! hey, did you know that honey nut cheerios is... oh you too!
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ooh, hey america's favorite cereal is... honey nut cheerios ok then off to iceland!
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we're out of time. cnn newsroom with carol costello begins right now. >> hey, soledad. thank you. happening right now, flight scare. sewing needles, yes, needles, found in sandwiches on delta planes flying into america.
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one passenger was hurt. this morning, find out what the airline is doing about it. big bus. two continents, three tons of cocaine, and 200 pounds of marijuana. it's happening right now. cnn will take you aboard that ship. caught on tape. a breathtaking rescue as a 7-year-old dancing on a third floor window air conditioning unit trips and falls. hear from the guy who caught her. and how would you like to lose a few pounds? a new weight loss pill is about to be approved. average weight loss, 23 pounds. we'll tell you who it's for and why there was such a fight to get it to your drug store. "newsroom" begins right now. and good morning. thank you so much for joining us this morning. i'm carol costello. we begin with an ongoing investigation. after a food safety scare at 30,000 feet. we're talking about sewing needles found in sandwiches